Sunday, February 20, 2005

couldn't wait...

...until St. Patrick's Day to post this one. I got this from a friend, and I don't know where she got it. But I have to say, it's true:

Ladies of the Irish persuasion are unique in their character.

They are a combination of a little girl, mother, hooker, and nun. They go from Bambi to Banshee in 3.7 seconds. They can bat their eyes, or blacken yours. They can love you with a passion and make you feel like a king. They can be frail and strong at the same time. Depending on their mood, they'll chastise you for drinking...or match you pint for pint. The ladies keep Irish men from killin' themselves and each other.

They're like the grace of God-uncomprehendable but indespensible.

Seasonal changes

When I woke up this morning, I took great pleasure in pounding the snooze button of my alarm clock (something I gave up doing for Lent, but it's Sunday!). When I got out of bed a few hours later, noticed brightness trying to squeeze its way between the slats of my closed blinds. It almost bowled me over when I twisted the blinds open.
"Wow," I thought. "It looks like such a gorgeous day out. It's probably freezing, though, when you step outside."
But since I had left my phone in the car, and it needed to be charged, I decided to brave the weather, whatever it might be. I pulled on my sweatpants and a sweatshirt, slipped my feet into my untied sneakers, and jogged out to the parking lot.
To my astonishment, it truly was a beautiful day! After plugging my phone into its charger, I modified my outfit into running layers and decided to explore the neighborhood. I choose the phrase "explore the neighborhood" because, since I've lived in this apartment, I haven't been out running. Actually, the last time I did go for a run was ...oh, dear; nevermind. How embarrassing. Grad school is my obvious excuse, but the real reason is I'm a wimp when it comes to cold weather.
To my surprise and enjoyment, I discovered that not half a mile away from my house is a Sound-side boardwalk. That's right; I ran a few miles along Long Island Sound, greeting other people out for a leisurely stroll, out for a run, or out with their dogs--all in high spirits, grateful to greet a glorious Sunday morning. The Sound reflected the blue sky; the bright sun made the water glitter; the seagulls seemed as excited as the rest of us, calling, "Look! Look!" from overhead. I didn't feel as out of shape as I had anticipated. It must have been the spring-fever that seemed to infect everyone I ran past. The sun warmed us all through the brisk February air; I was down to my sleeveless T-shirt by the time I turned around to head back.
"Good morning," I nodded at an older woman, walking along in her Sunday clothes.
"Ooooh, look at you," she replied. "You really broke a sweat!"
I arrived back at the apartment refreshed, determined not to let the "winter storm warning" for tonight drag me down.

In fact, I think I might "take a day" tomorrow and go skiing in Vermont with Frank and Sharon. If there's going to be a winter storm, that's definitely where I'd like to be for it! And if by some stroke of Providence, school is cancelled tomorrow, I'll be even happier. (if not, though, I think it'll be worth the hassle, this time, of catching up!)

Who knew that Connecticut could imitate Colorado? Winter one day, spring the next, and blizzard conditions immediately following!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Omission = Actively Ignoring

Also, =what I'm doing right now. I've read a lot this weekend, but haven't actually compiled a workable handout for tutorial tomorrow. You'd think sitting alone in the PT computer lab at school would facilitate my motivational issues. But no. It's past 9:30pm, I have to work at 7:30am, nothing is on paper, and thoughts are running through my head like, "It's past 9 o'clock. Oooh! I have free nighttime minutes; who do I need to call?"

The weekend was great. Babysat on Saturday evening, then came "home" to a still-lit-up Frank and Sharon's place. Low and behold, there's Sharon, 12-o'clock midnight, wrestling with her latest and greatest baking adventure. We're expecting 16+ people for Sunday Dinner the following afternoon, and she spares no energy for guests--even during her first trimester of pregnancy! Well, I thought the cake looked beautiful, but she was noticeably frustrated. Apparently there had been several detours and recoveries before I'd arrived. Finally, we went to bed around 2am, woke up for 7:30am Mass, and spent the morning preparing for the big dinner at 1:30pm. (we were exhausted by Sunday evening--cleanup lasted until 11pm!)

Anyway, I found out that the beautiful cake was a surprise birthday cake for me! Candles and everything; it was great. And it was delicious, much to Sharon's relief! =] The whole dinner was a huge success, and everyone left wondering if Sharon wasn't really already Italian before she married Frank!

I've been making in-my-head plans for my summer clinical affiliation this summer in Georgia. In other words, thinking about things I can't decide just yet. I just received news that I'll be going for the third block, by myself (!!), although another student from here will still be there for a few days after I arrive. My dates are June 27th until August 19th. So my think-plans have included:

Where should I make my "base" this summer?
Should I drive home for Alissa's wedding in May, then later drive to Georgia from home, then from Georgia back to Connecticut?
Or should I fly home for the wedding and come straight back to Connecticut, and then drive down the east coast when my affiliation comes along later in June?
Or should I drive home, fly to and from Georgia (can I survive alone without a car in Georgia?), and then drive back to Connecticut from Colorado in August?
What about my poor car and all these miles?
What about a summer job?
What about Connecticut housing (I have housing here until May)?
What about money while I'm in Georgia?

Yikes! Gotta find out a few things....

Friday, February 11, 2005

Late night...

...because I went with Frank and Sharon to give Dr. Alice von Hildebrand a ride home after Theology on Tap. What an amazing, sweet woman! It was a treat to have a whole car ride to listen to her speak about various subjects. Her sense of humor mingled with her wisdom makes every conversation a joy. I've never read any of her books, but now that I've heard her speak a few times, I think I'll have to change that.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ash Wednesday

Well, you've gotta suspect any open-note exam. It wasn't too bad, though. I feel pretty good about my grasp of all the concepts. We'll see how the professor likes my grasp of things!
Except Odds Ratio. I think I have to go back over that.
I dislike Odds Ratios.

On a happy note, Frank and Sharon gave me a purple sweater-shirt for my birthday! My favorite color, and appropriate for Lent!

Speaking of Lent, thank God it's here--and none too soon! I love this season for its opportunity to really investigate what my primary spiritual "issues" are. Frank put it well last night: "detox time!"
I'm heading down to St. John's for the official kick-off of these 40 days!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Study, study

We've embarked on the one-test-per-week gig that will last the rest of the semester.
On the upside, there'll be no final written exam!
This week: Measurement Exam
This is an open-book exam for our Statistics Unit of the semester. Open-book because our professor acknowledges the impracticality of making us memorize data from journal articles. They want us to understand the importance of evidence-based practice, so they want us to be able to analyze studies that have been done on different examination tools, as well as intervention strategies. So for our exam, we have a few articles to prepare, and the test will determine how well we understand the data presented. Sounds simple, straightforward.

But the questions aren't "What is the purpose of this study?"
They're more like, "On Table 2 from this article, referring to the surgery/no surgery data, state the question being asked by that ANOVA using example-specific terminology."
And the answer, of course, to this question taken from our practice quiz, is this:
Was the measured difference between patients who had surgery and those who did not have surgery due to more than chance alone?

I like the way this professor teaches stats, because she really explains what all the different calculations are measuring. But let me tell you, by the end of this exam, I'm not going to be able to think in real-life sentences! My brain is going to be so convoluted, I'll be speaking in double negatives!

The exam is tomorrow. Ash Wednesday. How appropriate:
"Remember, man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return."

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

You Know...

You know you haven't written on your blog lately when you have to type in your sign-in name and password...


One of the best writers I know is now reserving some of her more light-hearted talent for blog! She's going to one of our great international policy writers in a few years, folks. I must admit, though, I believe I will always enjoy her emails and updates more than her political dissertations!


Module I Exam, today (done)

Maria Goretti Society talk on Purity, this evening (done)

Research Statistics Question Activity for Meausurement Class, due Friday (pending)

Study for Statistics Exam next Wednesday--read and outline 5 assigned research articles in order to study efficiently with Hope, Janel, and Marisa--by Saturday (pending)

Research and put together "Intervention Strategies for elderly people with vision impairments and fear of falling," present it in tutorial on Friday (pending)

Do an Executive Summary from a chapter of a Geriatrics PT textbook, due Monday (pending)

Babysit 4 wonderful children from 4-11pm, Saturday (not yet actualized)

There. It doesn't look so bad when I write it down. But I allowed the stress generated by this list to affect my outlook on everything today. It influenced my dealings with my study partner, Hope, early this afternoon, and then my best friend, Sharon, later this afternoon. Impatience, shortness, and general frustration at the lack of more hours in the day. Scary how vulnerable I am to environmental circumstances.

Have to work on that....